VF Corp. claimed the No. 1 spot in June in Barron’s re-ranking of its 100 Most Sustainable Companies focusing on social commitments.
VF had ranked No. 21 in Barron’s February ranking on its list of the 100 Most Sustainable Companies, using stringent environmental guidelines. The criteria fell within the three key pillars of ESG investing – environmental, social and governance. While environmental and governance criteria are easier to quantify, the social criteria were more challenging at that time.
Given the arrival and challenges related to COVID-19, Barron’s reranked the Top 100 companies based solely on social factors and created two model portfolios. The new criteria considered workplace diversity, data security, product quality, and how companies interact with their employees, customers and communities.
VF attributed its lead ranking to making decisions amid the pandemic through the lens of its purpose and guiding principles.
“At VF, we are deeply committed to using our size and scale to be a force for good in the world. In times of crisis, this commitment matters even more,” said Peter Higgins, Vice President, Global Responsible Sourcing. “We believe our success today is built on purpose-led decisions that emphasize positively impacting people and our planet. Barron’s recognition is not only an honor, but a validation that we are on the right path. While we are proud of our accomplishments, we know there is more to do.”
Some examples that likely contributed to VF’s top social scores include its response to COVID-19 over the past few months during which VF, The VF Foundation and the VF family of brands provided more than $10.3 million worth of aid, including cash, to support emergency responders, provide testing kits and medical supplies, feed the hungry, as well as in-kind product donations to first responders. The company also committed to producing more than 3 million isolation gowns for U.S. first responders and to continuing pay and benefits for all of its office, retail and distribution center employees.
At the same time, VF also stepped up the scale and depth of its inclusion and diversity efforts in addition to establishing a Council to Advance Racial Equity (CARE)